American skier Gus Kenworthy announced on Twitter that he broke his right thumb in practice this week in PyeongChang, South Korea.
The 26-year-old said in the tweet he will still compete as scheduled in the Winter Olympics, and used the opportunity to take a shot at Vice President Mike Pence.
“It won’t stop me from competing (obvi) but it does prevent me from shaking Pence’s hand so… Silver linings!” Kenworthy wrote.
Broke my thumb yesterday in practice. It won't stop me from competing (obvi) but it does prevent me from shaking Pence's hand so… Silver linings! Will be giving my teammates (and literally everyone else) an enthusiastic "thumbs up!" of encouragement the rest of the trip. pic.twitter.com/XylPPGAq9P
— Gus Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) February 15, 2018
Kenworthy, who joins figure skater Adam Rippon as one of the first two openly gay Olympians to represent the United States in the Winter Olympics, has been openly critical of Pence and his views on the LGBT community.
Kenworthy told the Vice President to “eat your heart out” in the caption of an Instagram post with him and Rippon at the Opening Ceremony of the games, and tweeted pictures of the pair at the Olympic Stadium.
The #OpeningCeremony is a wrap and the 2018 Winter Olympic Gaymes are officially under way! I feel incredibly honored to be here in Korea competing for the US and I’m so proud to be representing the LGBTQ community alongside this amazing guy! Eat your heart out, Pence. #TeamUSA #TeamUSGay ️
A post shared by gus kenworthy (@guskenworthy) on Feb 9, 2018 at 7:29am PST
Pence has drawn criticism from the LGBT community for years. His 2000 congressional campaign said that “resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior,” which many feel is a reference to the practice of homosexual conversion therapy. When he was the governor of Indiana, the state passed the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” a widely criticized law that claimed to protect religious freedoms, but drew immediate criticism on the basis that it provided people with legal protection to discriminate against members of the LGBT community.
Pence led the United States’ delegation to the Winter Olympics, something that Kenworthy, speaking on Ellen before the games, said didn’t make sense to him.
“To have someone leading the delegation that’s directly attacked the LGBT community… it just seems like a bad fit,” Kenworthy said. “I feel like the Olympics is all about inclusion and people coming together, and it seems like it’s not really doing that.”
Kenworthy will compete in the slopestyle competition on Sunday. He won a silver medal in the same event at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
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